How to Make a Vanilla Milkshake

5 from 2 votes

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A simple vanilla shake is sometimes all it takes to make the day a whole lot better.

How to Make a Vanilla Milkshake

Homemade Vanilla Milkshake

Making a vanilla milkshake is downright simple. It’s as simple, in fact, as having vanilla ice cream and milk on hand. A bit of vanilla extract amps up the vanilla flavor, and then all you need is a blender.

Woman holding two Vanilla Milkshakes in tall glasses.

How Did The Milkshake Get Invented?

The term “milkshake” first came into being in the late 1880’s and at that point it referred to boozy concoction involving eggs and whiskey. But by the early 1900s, the word milkshake came to mean what we now think of by that name: a thick blended drink made with ice cream, milk, and other flavorings like strawberry, vanilla or chocolate. And then it went on from there.

You can choose from tons of different flavors of ice cream. And add in all kind of syrups and extras. If you follow any food people on instagram you will no doubt have seen the crazy milkshake concoctions that have become so popular today (and yes, there is sometimes booze involved, with the milkshake going full circle).

Ice cream scoop dropping ice cream into a blender.

When the electric blender was invented in 1922, milkshakes became even more popular. Dairy Queen, still known for their shakes, introduced milkshakes to their menu in 1949. And guess why the straw was invented? To drink these thick shakes! Who knew?

In New England a shake might be called a frappe, if malt powder is added it might be called a malt, and super thick shakes that basically require a spoon or insane straw sucking power might be called concretes.

Woman turning on a blender of Vanilla Milkshake ingredients.

Vanilla Milkshake Variations

  • If you are looking for something different, you can add:
  • A banana and some strawberries, for a Strawberry Banana Milkshake
  • Swirl in some Strawberry Topping‘!
  • Try strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries, or a combo for a berry shake. Add 1 cup of whatever berries you are feeling at the moment.
  • A scoop of malt powder for a Malted Vanilla Shake
  • Some chocolate syrup, about 3 tablespoons, for a Chocolate Milkshake, or if you have leftover chocolate ganache use that!
  • Whipped cream on top, and maybe some chocolate shavings or sprinkles

How to Make a Vanilla Milkshake / A simple vanilla shake is sometimes all it takes to make the day a whole lot better.

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Woman pouring vanilla milkshake from a blender into a tall glass.

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5 from 2 votes

How to Make a Vanilla Milkshake

A simple vanilla shake is sometimes all it takes to make the day a whole lot better.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 People



  • 1 pint (2 cups) vanilla ice cream
  • ½ cup milk (preferably whole)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Sprinkles or mini chocolate chips (to garnish; optional)


  • Place the ice cream, milk and vanilla into a blender. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour into large glasses, and if desired top with whipped cream and sprinkles or chocolate chips. Serve immediately.


Makes 2 large milkshakes.


Calories: 316kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Sodium: 132mg, Potassium: 346mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 31g, Vitamin A: 655IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 238mg, Iron: 1mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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